Jill Watkins joined the Cedar Rapids Downtown District in 2007 to lead the newly established Downtown Farmers’ Market. In her 10 years as the events planner for the Downtown District and then Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, she grew the market from 50 vendors to more than 200, created Market After Dark, and ran numerous other large-scale community events and conferences.
In 2016 she joined the New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative (NewBoCo) as the events director to produce EntreFEST, an entrepreneurship and innovation conference. She became COO of the organization in 2021. Jill enjoys the opportunity to expand her work throughout the organization and help lead this impactful statewide non-profit.
Jill teaches musical theater at Dance Arts Iowa in Mount Vernon and is the choreographer for the Mount Vernon High School musical production. She currently serves on the board of Revival Theatre Company and previously served on the boards of The History Center and NewBo Market.
She lives in Lisbon, Iowa, with her husband Thad, son Hagen and furry baby Archie.